Tributes have poured from around the globe for former Jamaica striker, Luton Shelton, who died on Friday, after a battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Shelton, who was 35 years old, spent several years plying his trade abroad between 2006 and 2015, where he represented six clubs.  On Friday, many of those clubs that once celebrated when his lighting speed resulted in breathtaking goals, paid homage to the fallen striker.

 Prominently featured among them were Swedish club Helsingborgs IF, English club Sheffield United and Norwegian football Vålerenga, along with world governing body FIFA.

Shelton represented Sheffield between 2007-2008 where he made four Premier League appearances towards the end of 2006-07, that included a debut against Manchester United but the club was relegated that year.  He then scored four goals in 21 outings the following season.  Famously, the striker was part of a famous 2-1 FA Cup win against Manchester City when the ball deflected to him having hit a balloon.  The Blades paid tribute to Shelton with a message posted to the club’s official website.

"Sheffield United is saddened to hear reports in the Caribbean indicating the passing of our former striker, Luton Shelton, aged just 35.

"In recent years he has bravely battled Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) - a progressive neurodegenerative disease.

"The condolences of all at the Blades are with Luton's family at this difficult time."

Vålerenga, where the player scored 17 goals between 2008 and 2011, also memorialized the player.

"The sad news (of) Luton Shelton's untimely passing has reached us.

"He had ALS and was only 35 years old. Our thoughts go to his family and friends. Rest in peace Luton, in Valerenga you will never be forgotten."

Helsingborgs IF, who first signed the player from Jamaica Premier League outfit Harbour View, in 2006, took to social media platform Instagram to express their condolences.

“We have been reached by the tragic news that our former player Luton Shelton has fallen asleep at the age of 35 after a period of fighting the disease ALS.

Our thoughts go to his relatives. Rest in peace, Luton!”

Through its official Twitter website, FIFA declared that global football was in mourning, following the passing of the young Jamaican.

"FIFA and World Football are mourning today.  Jamaica’s all-time top scorer Luton Shelton has passed away.  He was 35 years old.  Rest in peace, Luton."

FIFA has warned that any player competing in a European Super League would become ineligible to take part in World Cups, European Championships or the Champions League.

Amid speculation that the biggest clubs from the Premier League, LaLiga, Serie A, Bundesliga and Ligue 1 are keen on forming a breakaway competition, football's world governing body has taken a strong stance against such ideas.

A joint statement from FIFA and the six continental federations read: "In light of recent media speculation about the creation of a closed European 'Super League' by some European clubs, FIFA and the six confederations (AFC, CAF, CONCACAF, CONMEBOL, OFC and UEFA) once again would like to reiterate and strongly emphasise that such a competition would not be recognised by either FIFA or the respective confederation.

"Any club or player involved in such a competition would as a consequence not be allowed to participate in any competition organised by FIFA or their respective confederation.

"As per the FIFA and confederation statutes, all competitions should be organised or recognised by the relevant body at their respective level, by FIFA at the global level and by the confederations at the continental level.

"In this respect, the confederations recognise the Club World Cup, in its current and new format, as the only worldwide club competition, while FIFA recognises the club competitions organised by the confederations as the only club continental competitions.

"The universal principles of sporting merit, solidarity, promotion and relegation, and subsidiarity are the foundation of the football pyramid that ensures football's global success and are, as such, enshrined in the FIFA and confederation statutes.

"Football has a long and successful history thanks to these principles. Participation in global and continental competitions should always be won on the pitch."

It was reported in October that FIFA were hoping to create a closed 18-team tournament that would be dubbed the 'European Premier League'.

However, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said he was "not interested" in the idea and felt the existing Club World Cup had greater potential.

Prior to his resignation as Barcelona president, Josep Maria Bartomeu revealed at a news conference that he had accepted a proposal for the club to join the proposed European Super League.

Robert Lewandowski has paid tribute to Jurgen Klopp for the impact he had on the striker's path to being crowned the best player in the world last month.

Bayern Munich star Lewandowski won The Best FIFA Men's Player award for 2020 after starring as Die Roten claimed a Bundesliga, Champions League and DFB-Pokal treble.

Between July 20, 2019 and October 7, 2020 – the period considered for the award – Lewandowski scored 60 club goals in 52 appearances across all competitions at a rate of one every 76 minutes.

He beat Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to the prize, with the Pole effectively recognised the best footballer in the world in the absence of a Ballon d'Or winner in 2020.

Lewandowski has enjoyed immense success since joining Bayern in 2014, though he already looked destined for greatness during his time at Borussia Dortmund, where Klopp had begun to mould him into the lethal forward he is now.

Writing in a reflective piece for the Players' Tribune in the wake of his FIFA award win, Lewandowski said of the current Liverpool boss: "Jurgen was not only a father figure to me. As a coach, he was like the 'bad teacher'. And I mean that in the best sense of the word.

"Not the one who made life easy for you and never expected anything from you, but the one who was strict with you. The one who put pressure on you and did everything to get the best out of you. That's the teacher who made you better. Jurgen was like that.

"He was not content to let you be a B-grade student. Jurgen wanted A+ students. He didn't want it for him. He wanted it for you.

"I could talk to Jurgen about anything. I could trust him. He is a family man, and he has so much empathy for what goes on in your private life."

Lewandowski took a season to truly adapt to German football after joining from Lech Poznan in his native Poland, as he only netted eight Bundesliga goals in 33 games during the 2010-11 campaign.

That remains the only season he has failed to reach double figures for league goals during his time in Germany, and Lewandowski considers Klopp's influence to be a major part of his improvement.

"He taught me so much," the striker continued. "When I arrived at Dortmund, I wanted to do everything quickly: strong pass, one touch only. Jurgen showed me to calm down — to take two touches if necessary.

"It was totally against my nature, but soon I was scoring more goals. When I had that down, he challenged me to speed it up again.

"One touch. BANG. Goal. He slowed me down to speed me up. It sounds simple, but it was genius, really."

Lewandowski's shot conversion rate rose from 13.1 per cent to 22.5 after his first season with Klopp and has never dipped below 20 per cent since.

In fact, the 32-year-old appears to be getting better with age, given his best ever return in terms of shot conversion was posted last term (29.8), and he is well on track to obliterate that personal best in 2020-21.

With 20 goals in 14 Bundesliga games, the Polish marksman is converting 44.4 per cent of his opportunities.

 

Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has been hospitalised in Switzerland, his family have confirmed.

Blatter, 84, requires a period of rest but his condition is improving, according to daughter Corinne Blatter Andenmatten.

Swiss publication Blick has reported Blatter's condition is serious but stable.

"My father is in hospital," Corinne said.

"He is getting better every day. But he needs time and rest. On behalf of my family, I ask for privacy."

Blatter also spent time in hospital in 2015 and 2016 due to health problems.

The eighth president of FIFA resigned in 2015 amid a corruption scandal in football's governing body.

He was given an eight-year ban, reduced to six on appeal in 2016, over an alleged undue payment made to former UEFA president Michel Platini in 2011. Both men have maintained they committed no wrongdoing.

Last month, FIFA issued a criminal complaint over suspected "criminal mismanagement" in a museum project set up by Blatter.

Lorenz Erni, Blatter's lawyer, described the accusations as being "baseless and vehemently repudiated".

FIFA has issued a criminal complaint over suspected "criminal mismanagement" in a museum project set up by the governing body's former president Sepp Blatter.

The complaint has been lodged with Zurich's cantonal prosecutor in relation to the 'Haus zur Enge' project following an investigation by external experts.

FIFA's complaint was made against Blatter, who resigned as president in 2015 amid a corruption scandal, and "other persons in relation to activities relating to the agreements that were signed in relation to the facility".

Football's governing body say the project for the museum in downtown Zurich is set to cost them "half a billion Swiss Francs that could and should have been channeled into the development of global football".

A FIFA statement said: "The complaint includes the entire project costs at CHF 500 million, and identifies that the previous FIFA administration poured CHF 140 million into renovating and refurbishing a building that the organisation doesn't own, while also locking itself into a long-term rental agreement on unfavourable terms when compared to standard market rates, which, in total, will cost FIFA CHF 360 million by the date of expiration in 2045.

"That is half a billion Swiss Francs that could and should have been channeled into the development of global football."

FIFA deputy secretary general (administration) Alasdair Bell said: "Given the massive costs associated with this museum, as well as the general way of working of the previous FIFA management, a forensic audit was conducted in order to find out what really happened here.

"That audit revealed a wide range of suspicious circumstances and management failures, some of which may be criminal in nature and which therefore need to be properly investigated by the relevant authorities.

"We came to the conclusion that we had no choice other than to report the case to state prosecutors, not least because the current management of FIFA also has fiduciary responsibilities to the organisation and we intend to live up to them, even if those before us dismally failed to."

Lorenz Erni, Blatter's lawyer, described the accusations as being "baseless and vehemently repudiated".

FIFA says it will submit all documentation related to the matter to the independent Ethics Committee, so that it may instigate whatever investigation it considers appropriate given the circumstances.

Blatter was banned from all football activities for eight years, reduced to six on appeal, in 2015 over what was deemed to be a "disloyal payment" made to Michel Platini in 2011, but the 84-year-old denied any wrongdoing.

Hansi Flick admitted he was "a little disappointed" to miss out on The Best FIFA Men's Coach award after Bayern Munich's stunning run of trophy success.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp edged out Flick to take the award on Thursday, after leading the Reds to a first English league title in 30 years.

Flick, who took over in mid-season last term when Niko Kovac left a flagging Bayern, guided the German giants to a treble consisting of Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League titles.

Bayern's achievements were reflected in Bayern's Robert Lewandowski winning the top player award and Manuel Neuer being named best goalkeeper in the world.

Flick would have been proud to join them as a winner but said: "We always take this like sportsmen. 'Kloppo' for sure deserved this title as well with his staff. The same as my staff would have deserved it."

Klopp admitted he had been surprised to pip his fellow German to the award, albeit grateful to secure another award, while Lewandowski said Bayern's players regarded Flick as the pick of the nominees.

Flick said: "Life goes on. Of course, we were a little disappointed last night, which is normal.

"If you get among the top three, you also want to win. We live in a society of performance, so we also would have liked to win.

"But everything goes on, we have new goals to attain. Now, this is closed. The team has attained exceptional results. With Manu [Neuer] and Robert, we have two of the best players.

"Robert as best footballer and Manu as best goalkeeper, and Joshua Kimmich, Alphonso Davies in the world XI ... Thiago [Alcantara] as well, although he is with Liverpool now unfortunately.

"So we can say that this has been an exceptional season for us." 

Robert Lewandowski was delighted to be recognised as The Best FIFA Men's Player in 2020 after "longing" for individual recognition.

The Bayern Munich striker beat Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to FIFA's top prize after firing the German champions to a stunning treble.

He scored 55 goals last season and 60 in the period considered for this honour, 20 more than Ronaldo and 28 clear of Messi.

Ronaldo had won the award twice before, while Messi was last year's top player, but this was a breakthrough triumph for Lewandowski.

"I feel fantastic," said Lewandowski, who was surprised with the trophy in person by FIFA president Gianni Infantino on Thursday.

"I am very proud and happy. To be honest, this is a great day for me, and also for my club and colleagues.

"This award also belongs to my colleagues, the coach and Bayern Munich in general. It is an incredible feeling, a lot of emotions.

"If you win such an award and share that title with Messi and Ronaldo, that is unbelievable and it means so much to me.

"A long time ago, I remember I was longing for something like this and now I can win such an award.

"This really means, regardless of where you come from, all that matters is what you put into it."

Lewandowski helped Bayern to the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League titles, with the European crown ranking as his best moment of 2020.

"For the entire world, this year was difficult," he said.

"The greatest highlight was winning the Champions League final - such a special day and evening, that was an incredible feeling. That was a great moment.

"Then we won the cup and got every title we could possibly win. We have a great coach, great team and we all work towards one goal."

Lucy Bronze claimed The Best FIFA Women's Player award for 2020 after winning the Champions League with Lyon.

The England international came third in the running for the 2019 award but took the top prize this time after winning a third European crown in her third and final season in France.

Right-back Bronze, who subsequently returned to Manchester City, beat competition from Pernille Harder and Wendie Renard.

"Wow, what a surprise to even be nominated alongside the two other players, who I know very well," she said.

"Both Pernille Harder and Wendie Renard are incredible players and outstanding human beings, as well. To even be alongside two players of that stature is incredible.

"To have won it, I don't think I have the words right now to explain how I'm feeling.

"But if there's anything that 2020 has taught us, it's to appreciate every single moment that you've got, to never look too far ahead, and to live in the here and now.

"So I think winning this award right now, this year, I will appreciate it more than ever.

"I'll remember this moment for the rest of my life. I really will just enjoy the moment."

All three finalists were included in the FIFA FIFPro Women's World11, voted for by fellow players.

An unorthodox 3-3-4 formation was named, but there was no room for Sarah Bouhaddi, who missed out to Christiane Endler.

Lyon and France stalwart Bouhaddi had earlier been named The Best FIFA Women's Goalkeeper.

Netherlands boss Sarina Wiegman, who will replace Phil Neville as England manager in 2021, was recognised as The Best FIFA Women's Coach.


FIFA FIFPro Women's World11: Christiane Endler; Millie Bright, Lucy Bronze, Wendie Renard; Barbara Bonansea, Veronica Boquete, Delphine Cascarino; Pernille Harder, Tobin Heath, Vivianne Miedema, Megan Rapinoe.

Robert Lewandowski has been named The Best FIFA Men's Player for 2020.

The Bayern Munich striker was one of three finalists, along with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, ahead of Thursday's awards ceremony.

Messi, the 2019 winner, and Ronaldo had claimed the top prize in three of its four prior editions but were this time beaten by Bayern's treble-winner.

Lewandowski led the line as the Bundesliga giants won the league, DFB-Pokal and Champions League in 2019-20.

Between July 20, 2019 and October 7, 2020 - the period considered for this year's awards - the Poland international scored a stunning 60 club goals at a rate of one every 76 minutes.

This tally, from 52 Bayern appearances, was 20 more than any other player in Europe's 'top five' leagues.

While Ronaldo was second in this regard, tied with Ciro Immobile on 40 goals, Messi trailed Romelu Lukaku (37), Timo Werner (35) and Raheem Sterling (34).

The Barcelona captain's 32 goals were matched by Harry Kane and Kylian Mbappe.

FIFA recognition is particularly precious for Lewandowski this year after the coronavirus pandemic prompted the Ballon d'Or to be cancelled in the best season of his career.

Lewandowski had never previously won either award, although he was the UEFA Men's Player of the Year last season, making him the clear favourite here ahead of Messi and Ronaldo.

Robert Lewandowski has been named The Best FIFA Men's Player for 2020.

The Bayern Munich striker was one of three finalists, along with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, ahead of Thursday's awards ceremony.

Messi, the 2019 winner, and Ronaldo had claimed the top prize in three of its four prior editions but were this time beaten by Bayern's treble-winner.

Lewandowski led the line as the Bundesliga giants won the league, DFB-Pokal and Champions League in 2019-20.

Between July 20, 2019 and October 7, 2020 - the period considered for this year's awards - the Poland international scored a stunning 60 club goals at a rate of one every 76 minutes.

This tally, from 52 Bayern appearances, was 20 more than any other player in Europe's 'top five' leagues.

While Ronaldo was second in this regard, tied with Ciro Immobile on 40 goals, Messi trailed Romelu Lukaku (37), Timo Werner (35) and Raheem Sterling (34).

The Barcelona captain's 32 goals were matched by Harry Kane and Kylian Mbappe.

FIFA recognition is particularly precious for Lewandowski this year after the coronavirus pandemic prompted the Ballon d'Or to be cancelled in the best season of his career.

Lewandowski had never previously won either award, although he was the UEFA Men's Player of the Year last season, making him the clear favourite here ahead of Messi and Ronaldo.

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski were named in the attack for the 2020 FIFA FIFPro Men's World11.

The trio were all finalists for The Best FIFA Men's Player award and so were unsurprisingly included in the FIFPro Men's World11.

The chief shock elsewhere in the team saw Alisson preferred in goal to Manuel Neuer.

Neuer, who captained Bayern Munich to the treble, had earlier been named The Best FIFA Men's Goalkeeper, beating Alisson and Jan Oblak to the award.

The Germany skipper had said: "It's one of the best years of my career, of course. We were so confident with our team and it's amazing what we have done in this year, 2020, especially in the summer when we played together in Lisbon [in the Champions League]."

In a team voted for by the players, Alisson was joined by Liverpool team-mates Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk and Thiago Alcantara.

Thiago spent the majority of the year with Bayern, who were represented by Alphonso Davies and Joshua Kimmich as well as Lewandowski.

Sergio Ramos and Kevin De Bruyne completed the line-up.


FIFA FIFPro Men's World11: Alisson; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk, Sergio Ramos, Alphonso Davies; Joshua Kimmich, Kevin De Bruyne, Thiago Alcantara; Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski were named in the attack for the 2020 FIFA FIFPro Men's World XI.

The trio were all finalists for The Best FIFA Men's Player award and so were unsurprisingly included in the World XI.

The chief shock elsewhere in the team saw Alisson preferred in goal to Manuel Neuer.

Neuer, who captained Bayern Munich to the treble, had earlier been named The Best FIFA Men's Goalkeeper, beating Alisson and Jan Oblak to the award.

The Germany skipper had said: "It's one of the best years of my career, of course. We were so confident with our team and it's amazing what we have done in this year, 2020, especially in the summer when we played together in Lisbon [in the Champions League]."

In a team voted for by the players, Alisson was joined by Liverpool team-mates Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk and Thiago Alcantara.

Thiago spent the majority of the year with Bayern, who were represented by Alphonso Davies and Joshua Kimmich as well as Lewandowski.

Sergio Ramos and Kevin De Bruyne completed the line-up.


FIFA FIFPro Men's World XI: Alisson; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk, Sergio Ramos, Alphonso Davies; Joshua Kimmich, Kevin De Bruyne, Thiago Alcantara; Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Jurgen Klopp has won The Best FIFA Men's Coach award for the second year running after Liverpool's breakthrough Premier League triumph.

Klopp oversaw the Reds' title success in 2019-20, ending a 30-year wait for a top-flight championship.

FIFA recognition for 2020 follows his win in the same award 12 months earlier after Liverpool won the Champions League.

The Liverpool manager pipped Hansi Flick, the Bayern Munich coach, and Leeds United's Marcelo Bielsa on this occasion.

Flick came up short despite guiding Bayern to the treble, with glory in the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League.

Remarkably, he was still assistant to Niko Kovac on July 20, 2019 when the period under consideration for the award began.

Klopp clearly anticipated a Flick win in the top coaching award as he responded to Thursday's announcement with surprise.

"I am [shocked]," he said. "I was just sitting here because last year I won it, so then I show everybody the respect when I'm nominated and show up wherever it is."

Told again at the end of his acceptance speech that he was The Best FIFA Men's Coach, Klopp replied: "I'm not but I won the award, so that's good enough."

Liverpool moved back top of the Premier League on Wednesday with a dramatic 2-1 home win over title rivals Tottenham.

Russia will be barred from competing as a nation at the Olympic Games, Winter Olympics and football World Cup over the next two years after the Court of Arbitration for Sport partly upheld a suspension imposed for breaching anti-doping rules.

In 2019, Russia was handed a four-year ban from major international sporting events by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

WADA declared the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) non-compliant over inconsistencies in anti-doping data discovered during an investigation.

At the time, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) reiterated its support for Russia's ban, which meant athletes would be unable to compete under the Russian flag at the 2020 Olympics or the 2022 Winter Games.

In a landmark move on Thursday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) confirmed Russia would be banned, albeit with the time frame cut from four years to two.

That will still discount Russia from participating in the Tokyo Olympics – pushed back to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic – plus the Winter Games in Beijing in 2022, and the next World Cup.

Russia will, however, be able to compete at the Euro 2020 football finals, which is also scheduled to take place next year, having been another event impacted by COVID-19.

This is because WADA's international standard for code compliance by signatories does not list UEFA as a "major event organisation".

Russian athletes wishing to compete at the Tokyo and Beijing Games will be able to do so, but only under a neutral banner.

CAS stated in its announcement: "This panel has imposed consequences to reflect the nature and seriousness of the non-compliance [to the WADC] and to ensure that the integrity of sport against the scourge of doping is maintained.

"The consequences which the panel has decided to impose are not as extensive as those sought by WADA. This should not, however, be read as any validation of the conduct of RUSADA or the Russian authorities."

CAS also said that its ruling aims to "effect cultural change and encourage the next generation of Russian athletes to participate in clean international sport".

In order to be reinstated at the end of the two-year ban, it was also ruled that RUSADA must pay a contribution of $1.27million to WADA, in respect of the costs incurred in investigating the authenticity of the data retrieved from the Moscow laboratory in January 2019.

RUSADA, under supervision from WADA or the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), was told it must conduct investigations into any cases impacted by the deletions or alterations of the Moscow laboratory data.

The Russian organisation must also provide any other support requested by WADA to assist in determining whether athletes whose samples are listed in the Moscow laboratory database have a case to answer.

Premier League clubs have agreed "in principle" to introduce additional permanent concussion substitutions but the number of regulation in-game changes allowed has not been increased.

Football's lawmakers, the International Football Association Board (IFAB), on Wednesday announced planned trials for concussion substitutions were approved after "less than a year of detailed consultation with relevant stakeholders, medical concussion experts, team doctors, player representatives, coaches, competition organisers, refereeing and Laws of the Game experts".

Under the proposed protocols, players with an actual or suspected concussion will be "permanently removed from the match to protect their welfare", with the team allowed to bring on a replacement.

A Premier League statement read: "With player welfare the Premier League's priority, clubs agreed in principle to introduce additional permanent concussion substitutions following approval of the trial by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) yesterday.

"The trial is a result of the IFAB's consultation with stakeholders and recommendations from their concussion expert group to allow additional substitutions for players with actual or suspected concussion.

"The Premier League will look to implement protocols which will allow a maximum of two concussion substitutes to be used per team, with the opposition side able to use the equivalent number.

"The additional concussion substitutions may be made regardless of the number of substitutions a team have made already.

"The League will now apply for permission from the IFAB, via the FA, to take part in the trial which could be implemented as early as January 2021."

Concerns around head injuries have risen in recent weeks after some high-profile incidents in Europe's elite leagues.

In the Premier League, there was controversy when Arsenal defender David Luiz was allowed to continue only to be substituted at half-time after a clash of heads with Raul Jimenez that left the Wolves striker with a fractured skull.

IFAB also approved an extension to the law that allows competitions the option of granting up to five substitutions per team in a single game until December 31, 2021 for clubs, and until July 31, 2022 on the international stage.

While the Premier League has seemingly opted against taking up this opportunity despite pressure from some managers, it did confirm teams will be allowed to name up to nine substitutes on the bench in each game - an increase from seven.

Page 1 of 10
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.